AMPANG, to many, might not have much to offer in terms of tourism but with the redevelopment plan by the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ), nature lovers are in for a treat.
Visitors to Ampang will be surprised to note that there are hidden treasures in the form of lush greenery, highlands and waterfalls.
The Ampang Forest Park, Bukit Saga and Kao Ong Yah Temple are very popular among the locals.
Far away from the madding crowd, city dwellers will find a brief yet fulfilling respite at these locations.
Rich in flora and fauna, the Ampang Forest Park is part of the reserve forest, which has been upgraded as a family recreation centre.
It comes with picnic areas, walkways, restrooms and water play area.
Meanwhile the Bukit Saga or Saga Hill is popular among among hikers who use the trail as a training base before going up Mount Kinabalu.
The hill has its own waterfall, which is popular among families as a picnic spot.
The Kao Ong Yah Temple is a significant place for worshippers who throng the place during festivals.
It was built over 150 years ago and the temple is usually a hive of activities during the grand Kao Ong Yah payers.
Despite having its share of controversies, the Ampang Look-Out Point also remains popular as the panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur lures people to the high point.
It was launched in 2001, built at a cost of RM20mil and is managed by the Selangor Tourism, which has a long-term agreement with Pinang Harmoni Kembara Sdn Bhd (PHK) to operate the place.
MPAJ president Datuk Mohamad Yacob said there were not many places in Ampang with historical or tourism significance.
At present tourists often flock to Zoo Negara, Bukit Belacan and Kemensah for a picnic or day out.
“The Klang Gates Quartz Ridge or the Bukit Tabur is something that has potential but it is already popular among hikers and nature lovers.
“What we have right now are the forest park and Saga Hill, which come under Tourism Selangor. They have given some allocations for us to put up signage for Ampang Look-Out Point, Bukit Saga, Ampang Waterfront, Batu Asah Waterfall in Kemensah and the Taman Warisan in Klang Gate,” he said.
In 2004, a proposal was made to develop historical and tourism sites in Ampang.
Several places including Kao Ong Yah Temple, Klang Gate Dam, Jamilhuda Mosque, old Ampang market, the old railway station and Pekan Ampang were part of the working paper.
“The proposal never materialised so the redevelopment is important as we need to build infrastructure, upgrade the area as well as make the place more sustainable,” said Mohamad.